The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross and the Minister of State with responsibility for Sport, Brendan Griffin TD, today announced the establishment of an Expert Group. This group will provide guidance to Ireland’s sporting bodies to prepare for the phased return to sporting activity in line with the Government Roadmap for Reopening Business and Society.
This move will be closely watched by bodies such as the GAA, the IRFU and FAI, all of which have found it difficult to get clarity on how contact sport can resume in conjunction with social distancing guidelines.
Sporting organisations such as these have been working over recent weeks to develop protocols for returning to training and competition in their respective sports. he Expert Group will assess the consistency of the various protocols being prepared with the Roadmap.
Minister Ross said: “Like every sector in society, those involved in Irish sport at all levels have been hugely affected by the COVID-19 crisis. They are understandably most anxious to return to normal business as soon as possible, both those involved at a high-performance level and those eager to return to playing and participating in the sports they love within their communities. Unfortunately that is simply not possible in current circumstances. Small and very measured steps must be introduced slowly, which is what the Roadmap sets out to do through the various phases. But the good news is that some low-risk sporting activity can start up again next Monday in accordance with the public health advice. The sports organisations are putting detailed protocols in place and the Expert Group that we are establishing today will be assessing the consistency of these arrangements with the Roadmap and current public health advice. In my view, it is essential that the public can have confidence in how sport is being restored in Ireland and I believe that this initiative is an important confidence-building measure.”